The RV Industry Association applauds the decision of Governor Asa Hutchinson to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation in Arkansas. The Association, working in in conjunction with the ORR, has been integral to the creation of Offices of Outdoor Recreation across the country in an effort to coordinate outdoor recreation policy and promote economic development among stakeholders in the outdoor recreation industry at the state level. Along with other members of the ORR, the RV Industry Association has called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation.
Below is an op-ed from ORR member John Paul Shaffer on what this new Office of Outdoor Recreation means for Arkansas.
For close to a decade, we have been able to quantify outdoor recreation as a major economic force in America, to the tune of $788 billion in output, 5.2 million jobs and 2.1 percent of gross domestic product, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
These staggering figures were calculated prior to the surge in outdoor recreation participation seen during the covid-19 pandemic that propelled camping, fishing and vehicle sales, but also underscored the need for more investment in our outdoor infrastructure to accommodate our already heavy participation and to further support access for communities with limited recreation assets and green spaces.
While the increase in recreation helped support local businesses around the country, others, particularly in rural America, were severely impacted by pandemic-related closures and the lack of tourists making their way to these gateway communities.
This is why we are so excited about a recent effort to expand outdoor recreation in Arkansas.
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable board members met with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who recently signed an executive order establishing an Office of Outdoor Recreation, making Arkansas the 18th state to establish such an office or task force. In the meeting, the governor discussed how this new office will be able to strengthen coordination and investment in the powerful economic engine that is the outdoor recreation industry in The Natural State.
Read the full article from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette here.